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In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shares some quick tips with host Kevin O'Connor for stopping annoying drips.


1. Start by using a small slotted screwdriver or utility knife to pry off the “hot” and “cold” cover plates from the faucet handles, exposing the attachment screws.

2. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw securing each faucet handle.

3. Carefully pull the handles straight up and off the faucet deck. If the handles are stuck, free them using a handle puller.

4. Faucets made within the last 20 years or so will likely have a plastic cartridge beneath the handle. Remove the old cartridge and install a replacement cartridge.

5. Older faucets will have a brass stem beneath the handle. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the stem from the faucet body.

6. Unscrew the rubber washer from the bottom end of the stem, and install a new washer.

7. The washer sits in a round recessed disk called a retainer. If the original retainer is damaged, grind it flush and install a replacement retainer ring.

8. Use a seat wrench to remove the metal seat from beneath the stem. If the top end of the seat is pitted or worn, sand it flush with a piece of emery cloth or seat redressing tool to smooth the end of the seat.

9. If you can't repair the original seat, replace it with a new seat.